olive_oilOlea europaea

Family: Oleaceae

Part used: fruit

Base oil: use a 10 percent dilution

Olive is an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region. The tree reaches a height of about 25 – 40 feet, has smooth grey bark, leathery greenish-grey leaves, and fragrant clusters of white flowers. Olive trees are slow to mature, requiring ten years to start to bear fruit, and thirty years for a sizable crop to be produced. The trees may reach an age of 1,500 years.

Contains: protein, minerals, vitamins

Practical uses: rheumatic conditions, hair care, cosmetics, soothing. The carrier/base oil is used to dilute essential oils in aromatherapy for massage oils and other formulations. For massage oils, it is best to mix 10 – 20 percent of olive oil with other carrier oil before adding the essential oils, due to its thickness.

Therapeutic Properties: antipruritic, cholagogue, demulcent, emollient, laxative, relaxant, vulnerary

The first pressing of the finest selected olives is called extra virgin oil, which is considered the top grade. Virgin oil is considered the second-best grade, and pure olive oil is the third. The pure olive oil is extracted from the pulp and pits left over from the other pressings; it is generally produced by the use of heat and high pressure, solvents bleaching, and deodorizing.

Unprocessed cold pressed olive oil does not go rancid when it is heated, feeds the nerves and is excellent for the skin.

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skin_mousse

Making a Skin Mousse

Take a clean glass jar that is big enough to hold up to 20ml/4 tsp of the finished mousse. Add 15ml/3 flat tsp Aloe Vera gel, then 5ml/1 tsp jojoba carrier oil and stir the mixture with a small spoon. The oil and gel will start to combine and thicken. At this point, add another 2.5ml/ ½ tsp Aloe Vera gel and keep stirring. The mixture will suddenly go smooth and slack, taking on an opaque, pale cream colour. You will have approximately 20ml/4 tsp mousse in total – enough for around ten applications to the face.

You can use the mousse unfragranced, or you can add essential oils to the mousse blend and stir again. The mousse will last between four and six weeks at a cool room temperature and will leave your skin feeling calmed, restored and soft.

oils_white

Skin Oils and Lotions

The essential oils are prepared in much the same manner as they would be for a massage, except that the base oil should include the more nourishing oils such as jojoba, avocado or apricot kernel oil. The focus here is on treating the skin itself and dealing with particular problems. A gentle circular movement of the fingertips is often enough for the oils to be absorbed; it is important not to drag the skin, especially in the delicate areas of the neck and around the eyes.

Rose and neroli are good for dry or mature complexions; geranium, bergamot and lemon can help combat acne and greasy skin.

A few drops of essential oil can also be mixed into a bland cream or lotion, or added to a basic face mask, which might include oatmeal, honey, or clay together with the pulp of various fruits.

In some conditions, such as cold sores (herpes) and athlete’s foot, it is better to use an alcohol-based lotion instead of an oil or cream. This can be made by adding 6 drops of essential oil to 5 ml of isopropyl alcohol or vodka. This mixture can be further diluted in a litre of boiled and cooled water for treating open cuts or sores, such as those caused by chickenpox or genital herpes.


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